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Boeing 737 crash: State media says no survivors found – CTV News

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WUZHOU, CHINA —
Mud-stained wallets. Bank cards. Official identity cards. Poignant reminders of 132 lives presumed lost were lined up by rescue workers scouring a remote Chinese mountainside Tuesday for the wreckage of a China Eastern flight that one day earlier inexplicably fell from the sky and burst into a huge fireball.

No survivors have been found among the 123 passengers and nine crew members. Video clips posted by China’s state media show small pieces of the Boeing 737-800 plane scattered over a wide forested area, some in green fields, others in burnt-out patches with raw earth exposed after fires burned in the trees. Each piece of debris has a number next to it, the larger ones marked off by police tape.

Search teams planned to work through the night using their hands, picks, sniffer dogs and other equipment to look for survivors, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The steep, rough terrain and the huge size of the debris field were complicating the search for the black box, which holds the flight data and cockpit voice recorder, CCTV and the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Drones were being used to search the fragments of wreckage that were scattered across both sides of the mountain into which the plane crashed, state media reported.

As family members gathered at the destination and departure airports, what caused the plane to drop out of the sky shortly before it would have begun its descent to the southern China metropolis of Guangzhou remained a mystery.

At an evening news conference, a grim-faced Zhu Tao, director of the Office of Aviation Safety at the Civil Aviation Authority of China, said efforts were focused on finding the black box and that it was too early to speculate on a possible cause of the crash.

“As of now, the rescue has yet to find survivors,” Zhu said. “The public security department has taken control of the site.”

Zhu said an air-traffic controller tried to contact the pilots several times after seeing the plane’s altitude drop sharply, but got no reply.

The inability to reach the pilots at such a crucial moment wasn’t itself necessarily a problem, said William Waldock, a professor of safety science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

“If they were dealing with an emergency, pilots are taught to `aviate, navigate, then communicate.’ Meaning, fly the airplane first,” Waldock said. “If it was some sort of major mechanical problem, they may have had their hands full trying to control the aircraft.”

The crash left a deep pit in the mountainside about the size of a football field, Xinhua said, citing rescuers. Chen Weihao, who saw the falling plane while working on a farm, told the news agency it hit a gap in the mountain where nobody lived.

“The plane looked to be in one piece when it nosedived. Within seconds, it crashed,” Chen said.

China Eastern flight 5735 crashed outside the city of Wuzhou in the Guangxi region while flying from Kunming, the capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan, to Guangzhou, an industrial center not far from Hong Kong on China’s southeastern coast. It ignited a fire big enough to be seen on NASA satellite images before firefighters could extinguished it.

No foreigners were on board the lost flight, the Foreign Ministry said, citing a preliminary review.

Dinglong Culture, a Guangzhou company in both mining and TV and movie production, said in a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange that its CFO, Fang Fang, was a passenger. Zhongxinghua, an accounting firm used by Dinglong, said that two of its employees were also on the flight.

The crash site is surrounded on three sides by mountains and accessible only by foot and motorcycle on a steep dirt road in the semitropical Guangxi region, famed for some of China’s most spectacular scenery.

Rain fell Tuesday afternoon as excavators dug out a path to make access easier, CCTV said. The steepness of the slope made the positioning of heavy equipment difficult.

A base of operations was set up near the crash site with rescue vehicles, ambulances and an emergency power supply truck parked in the narrow space. Soldiers and rescue workers combed the charred crash site and surrounding heavily dense vegetation.

Police restricted access, checking each vehicle entering Molang, a village near the crash site. Five people with swollen eyes walked out of the village, got into a car and left. Onlookers said they were relatives of the passengers.

Family members gathered at Kunming and Guangzhou airports. People draped in pink blankets and slumped in massage chairs could be seen in a traveler rest area in the basement of the one in Kunming. Workers wheeled in mattresses and brought bagged meals. A security guard blocked an Associated Press journalist from entering, saying that “interviews aren’t being accepted.”

In Guangzhou, relatives were escorted to a reception center staffed by employees wearing full protective gear to guard against the coronavirus.

At least five hotels with more than 700 rooms had been requisitioned in Wuzhou’s Teng county for family members, Chinese media reported.

Workers in hazmat suits set up a registration desk and administered COVID-19 tests at the entrance to one hotel, outside of Molang. A sign read, “The hotel is requisitioned for March 21 plane accident emergency use.” At another hotel, a group of women, some wearing vests with Red Cross markings, registered at a hotel desk set up outside.

The nation’s first fatal plane crash in more than a decade dominated China’s news and social media. World leaders including Great Britain’s Boris Johnson, India’s Narendra Modi and Canada’s Justin Trudeau posted condolences on Twitter.

Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said that the company was deeply saddened by the news and had offered the full support of its technical experts to assist in the investigation.

“The thoughts of all of us at Boeing are with the passengers and crew members … as well as their families and loved ones,” he wrote in a message to Boeing employees.

The plane was about an hour into its flight, at an altitude of 29,000 feet (8,840 metres), when it entered a steep, fast dive around 2:20 p.m., according to data from FlightRadar24.com. The plane plunged to 7,400 feet before briefly regaining about 1,200 feet in altitude, then dove again. The plane stopped transmitting data 96 seconds after starting to dive.

The aircraft was delivered to the airline in June 2015 and had been flying for more than six years.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, where the flight was headed, is one of China’s main aviation hubs. It is the home base for China Southern Airlines. As the pandemic upended air travel, it rocketed past Beijing and Atlanta to claim the title of world’s busiest airport in 2020 — the most recent year for which annual data is available — handling more than 43 million passengers.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province, home to export-driven factories making smartphones, toys, furniture and other goods. Its Auto City district has joint ventures operated by Toyota, Nissan and others. Kunming, the departure city which is 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) west, is the capital of Yunnan province, an agricultural, mining and tourism center that borders Southeast Asia.

China Eastern, which is headquartered in Shanghai, has grounded all of its 737-800s, China’s Transport Ministry said. Aviation experts said it is unusual to ground an entire fleet of planes unless there is evidence of a problem with the model.

The airline is one of China’s three largest carriers with more than 600 planes, including 109 Boeing 737-800s. The grounding could further disrupt domestic air travel already curtailed because of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in China since the initial peak in early 2020.

The Boeing 737-800 has been flying since 1998 and has an excellent safety record, said Hassan Shahidi, president of the Flight Safety Foundation. It is an earlier model than the 737 Max, which was grounded worldwide for nearly two years after deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019.

Before Monday, the last fatal crash of a Chinese airliner occurred in August 2010, when an Embraer ERJ 190-100 operated by Henan Airlines hit the ground short of the runway in the northeastern city of Yichun and caught fire. It carried 96 people and 44 of them died. Investigators blamed pilot error.

——

Kang reported from Kunming, China. Associated Press researcher Yu Bing and news assistant Caroline Chen in Beijing, researcher Si Chen in Shanghai, video producer Olivia Zhang in Wuzhou, China, writer Adam Schreck in Bangkok and airlines writer David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.

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After Buffalo Massacre, Gov. Kathy Hochul Calls for Social Media Companies to Crack Down on Hate Speech – Vanity Fair

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Gov. Hochul mourns the loss of life in her hometown and vows change.

May 15, 2022

Image may contain Human Person Hat Clothing Apparel Footwear Shoe Skin Sunglasses Accessories Accessory and Crowd

BUFFALO, NY – MAY 14:People watch the crime scene of an active shooter across the street from the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street in Buffalo on May 14, 2022. (Photo by Libby March for The Washington Post via Getty Images)The Washington Post

In one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent American history, a white 18-year-old has been accused of shooting and killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday. Authorities said Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, shot 11 Black people and two white people in a rampage that he broadcast live.

A 180-page manifesto believed to have been posted on the internet by Gendron before the attacks focused on “replacement theory,” a white-supremacist belief that non-whites will eventually replace white people because they have higher birth rates, according to a copy viewed by ABC News.

“This individual came here with the express purpose of taking as many Black lives as he could,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference Sunday.

Since taking office in August, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has faced several natural and man-made disasters, ranging from deadly Hurricane Ida to the recent subway shootings in Brooklyn. But for the Buffalo native, the racial-motivated mass shooting in her hometown is personal.

In an interview on ABC News on Sunday morning, Hochul expressed her grief and outrage: “Our hearts re broken—and I am angry. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. I will leave no stone unturned to protect the people of this community.”

Democrats lashed out against Republicans who are traditionally strong advocates of the Second Amendment, including the GOP’s third-highest ranking member in the House, upstate New York Rep. Elise Stefanik.

“Did you know: @EliseStefanik pushes white replacement theory?” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) tweeted on Saturday, referring to criticism of her congressional campaign’s Facebook ads hyping fears of a “permanent election insurrection.”

Stefanik, known as a moderate Republican turned Trump acolyte, tweeted a message of condolence upon hearing the news but has not commented on Kinzinger’s allegation.

“We pray for their families. But after we pray—after we get up off of our knees—we’ve got to demand change. We’ve got to demand justice,” New York State Attorney General Letitia James said while attending church services in Buffalo on Sunday morning. “This was domestic terrorism, plain and simple.”

For Hochul, the massacre reflected a failure not just to limit access to guns but to curb the ability to openly share and distribute hate speech.

The governor told ABC that the heads of technology companies “need to be held accountable and assure all of us that they’re taking every step humanly possible to be able to monitor this information.”

“How these depraved ideas are fermenting on social media–it’s spreading like a virus now,” she said, adding that a lack of oversight could lead to others emulating the shooter.

The Buffalo shooting prompted the New York Police Department to provide increased security at Black churches around New York City “in the event of any copycat,” the NYPD said in a statement.

“While we assess there is no threat to New York City stemming from this incident,” the NYPD said in its statement, “out of an abundance of caution, we have shifted counterterrorism and patrol resources to give special attention to a number of locations and areas including major houses of worship in communities of color.”

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Sunday Reading: Social-Media Disrupters – The New Yorker

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Sunday Reading: Social-Media Disrupters

Elon Musk Ivanka Trump and others at a black tie event cheersing their drinks.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty

This past week, Elon Musk declared that he would allow Donald Trump back on Twitter, then wavered over his planned purchase of the social-media behemoth. As billionaire tech magnates dominate the public square and transform how we consume information, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces about social-media disrupters and their impact.

<a aria-label="More from the Archive” class=”external-link external-link-embed__hed-link button” data-event-click=”"element":"ExternalLink","outgoingURL":"https://www.newyorker.com/newsletter/classics"” href=”https://www.newyorker.com/newsletter/classics” rel=”nofollow noopener” target=”_blank”>More from the Archive

Sign up for Classics, a twice-weekly newsletter featuring notable pieces from the past.

In “Plugged In,” from 2009, Tad Friend profiles an earlier incarnation of Musk, when the Tesla C.E.O. was focussed primarily on pitching his vision for electric cars and colonizing Mars. In “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?,” Evan Osnos writes about the social-media platform’s evolution (or devolution) from a networking site to one of the leading disseminators of extremist rhetoric and propaganda. In “Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet,” Andrew Marantz examines the destructive impact of rampant online conspiracy theories and hate speech. Finally, in “What Is It About Peter Thiel?,” Anna Wiener considers the influence of the first outside investor in Facebook—who, after serving as one of Trump’s biggest donors in 2016, continues to make forays into Republican politics, recently backing two Trumpian Senate candidates, J. D. Vance, in Ohio, and Blake Masters, in Arizona. For Thiel, Wiener writes, “the processes of liberal democratic life are either an obstacle or a distraction. . . . What’s on offer is a fantasy of a future shaped purely by technology.”

David Remnick


Musk and his children with clay model cars
Can Elon Musk lead the way to an electric-car future?

A GIF shows a stream of data materialize into a portrait of Peter Thiel.
The billionaire venture capitalist has fans and followers. What are they looking for?

Image may contain: Human, Person, Furniture, and Tabletop
How do we fix life online without limiting free speech?

Animated gif of a flashing, pixelated photograph of Mark Zuckerberg
The most famous entrepreneur of his generation is facing a public reckoning with the power of Big Tech.

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Health authority sues Brandon psychiatric nurse over allegedly defamatory social media posts – CBC.ca

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A Brandon, Man., woman who was a psychiatric nurse is being sued by her former employer over posts on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram calling fellow employees “idiots” and accusing the health authority of killing its patients. 

The case comes at a time when legal experts say the number of lawsuits filed over social media posts is growing rapidly.

In its lawsuit filed April 12, the Prairie Mountain Health authority is seeking a court injunction to prohibit the nurse from publishing defamatory statements about her former employer and make her remove existing posts.

Ten employees of the western Manitoba regional health authority are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They allege the nurse made false, malicious and defamatory social media posts about them, as well as the employer.

The psychiatric nurse’s Manitoba registration to practise was suspended on Jan. 12. The regulatory college’s website shows she then voluntarily surrendered her registration, effective Jan. 17.

The reason for the suspension is not stated on the Brandon woman’s listing on the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba website. The college’s registrar, Laura Panteluk, said she cannot talk about a specific case.

CBC News is not naming the people in the lawsuit due to allegations in it about mental health. The defendant has not filed a statement of defence and the allegations have not been proven in court.

Staff called ‘lazy, incompetent’: lawsuit

The psychiatric nurse worked at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, according to the statement of claim filed in Court of Queen’s Bench at Winnipeg.

The lawsuit refers to the content of four videos the defendant posted on her social media accounts. 

In January, she posted a video on her TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram accounts that refers to some of the plaintiffs as “idiots, horrible nurses” who do not care about patients, the claim says. 

It alleges the nurse used defamatory words to say some of the other employees were “lazy, incompetent, unintelligent, and do not care about the [Brandon Regional Health Centre] patients.”

The claim alleges that in the video, the nurse said she was bullied at work and that a manager — who is one of the plaintiffs — questioned her mental health in a disciplinary meeting, causing her to go on sick leave.

The claim also alleges that in another video the nurse posted, she said Brandon health centre staff “were making fun of homeless people,” and that the health centre “protects abusers” and “kills its patients.”

The court document alleges the nurse said in a video that she intended to determine the identities of staff members working on a particular day, and then publish their names in a video on her TikTok account in an attempt to cause them to lose their jobs.

“As a result of the publication of the defamatory words, the plaintiffs have been subjected to ridicule, alienation, and contempt and have suffered damages to their reputation,” both personally and professionally, the claim alleges.

It says they’ve suffered “embarrassment, humiliation, fear, and anxiety.”

The nurse has refused to remove two of the videos from her social media accounts, the claim says, further aggravating the damage to the plaintiffs. 

Attempts by CBC to contact the defendant were not successful.

Prairie Mountain Health communications co-ordinator Blaine Kraushaar said the health authority has no comment on the case.

Social media suits becoming more common: lawyer

Toronto lawyer Howard Winkler, who specializes in defamation law, says the number of lawsuits about social media posts has grown “exponentially.”

“It’s becoming more and more common as people are becoming more comfortable with their use of social media,” said Winkler, who is not involved with the Manitoba case.

Toronto lawyer Howard Winkler says the number of lawsuits related to social media posts has increased ‘exponentially.’ (Submitted by Howard Winkler)

The unrestrained expressions of opinions and anger found on social media can be very harmful, he said.

But social media users should be aware that ordinary laws of defamation apply to those kinds of posts, said Winkler, meaning they can face financial damages in court.

“So people have to be very careful when they’re posting these kinds of messages.”

A person’s social media footprint can also affect future employment prospects, regardless of whether or not their criticisms were valid.

“If someone’s applying for a job and the employer does a social media search and they see that a person’s had an earlier dispute with an employer, that may be a red flag to an employer that there’s some risk associated with hiring that person,” Winkler said.

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